Sunday Sparkle

I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with food lately because I feel like it’s time to make healthier choices…

Hands down, brunch is my favorite meal! Took this pic back in Barcelona at Brunch & Cake—super yum!

Because brunch is my favorite meal! Took this pic back in Barcelona at Brunch & Cake—super yum!

Ughhh…how am I going to give this up? I love dairy, I love cheese, I love bread, I love my cookies and cakes…but I am also starting to love my health more. I’m just at a place in my life where I want (and need!) to make healthier food choices. So here are THREE THINGS I’m considering:

1. Taking A Food Intolerance Test
I don’t like guessing games and I’m certainly not going to stop eating something that I love on the mere chance that it causes inflammation. So I’m trying to find the best place to get a Food Intolerance Test (FIT). It’s not as expensive as it used to be when this whole trend started, but it is still quite an investment.

Here's the package at Bio Balance. But I also inquired at Health Cube in Greenhills and their FIT is only P9,900.

Here’s the package at Bio Balance. But I also inquired at Health Cube in Greenhills and their FIT is only P9,900.

Here's a sample of what the FIT results look like from BioBalance. So specific!

Here’s a sample of what the FIT results look like from BioBalance. So specific!

I want to identify the specific types of food that I’m intolerant to, so I can consciously avoid them. And dear God, I hope I can still eat my faves! P.S. If you have any leads about where to take an FIT, do let me know!  Continue reading

The Foundation (And Primer) I Can’t Stop Using!

Yup, it’s true! I really can’t stop using it!

This is the first time I used it months ago. Look how long my hair was!

This is the first time I used it months ago. Look how long my hair was!

As you can see, the foundation totally mimics the color and texture of my skin—only better. It doesn’t look like I’m wearing foundation at all, and the best part is, it looks even better IRL.

This is what it looks like at the end of a long day. A little more dewy, but still natural and glowing.

This is what it looks like at the end of a long day. A little more dewy, but still natural and glowing.

I love it! The pigment is perfect, it feels light on my skin, I don’t need to use a lot, and I basically just apply it with my fingers all the time. Want to find out what it is? Click, click, click! Continue reading

5 Contouring & Highlighting Tips For The Makeup Newbie

Thanks to the Kardashians, contouring has become a huge trend in the makeup world. It always looks so simple and easy when you watch the Insta videos, but it another story when you have to start shading and strobing all by yourself.

Uh-oh.

LOL!

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re first starting out, but don’t worry. With a little patience, practice and a loooot of blending, I promise that you’ll be able to do it like a pro soon enough. In the meantime, check out some of the highlighting & contouring tricks that I’ve learned along the way. These little tricks really made my makeup life a lot easier!

Tip #1: Cream Formulas Are Best For Contouring Newbies.
This is because they’re easy to blend and you can always use your sponge to erase any mistakes. When shopping, go for a color that’s one to two shades darker than your regular foundation. This will help the shadows look more natural and wearable if you’re at work or on a date.

Been using the Sleek Cream Contour Kit in Medium lately and I love how easy it is to blend!

Been using the Sleek MakeUP Cream Contour Kit in Medium lately and I love how easy it is to blend!

The different shades allowed me to play around with stronger contours for events. I was also able to use the lighter shades as a concealer—yay for multi-tasking products!

The different shades allowed me to play around with stronger contours for events. I was also able to use the lighter shades as a concealer—yay for multi-tasking products!

Tip #2: Have Oily Skin? Opt For Powder Formulas.
This is especially true when it comes to your highlighter since the goal is to look dewy—not greasy. Because powders can absorb excess oil, this formula will last longer on your skin and it can even help control excess shine. The only challenge? Powders are harder to blend, but you can make life easier for you by investing in the right brushes (I prefer an angled brush for contouring and a mini fan brush for highlighting).  Continue reading

Why You Should Get Your Brows Waxed This May

Do you ever feel guilty for your beauty buys and splurges? Well, I have some fab news for you! This month, Benefit Cosmetics is donating EVERY SINGLE PESO they earn from their brow services to Mano Amiga Academy.

Mano Amiga Academy is a school that aims to provide a good education to children from low-income families.

Mano Amiga Academy is a school that aims to provide a good education to children from low-income families. Photo: instagram.com/manoamigaacademy

What I found interesting about Mano Amiga was that the organization also aims to help their student’s mothers find stable jobs, so that they can perform better at school. It makes sense, right? The more secure the students feel at home, the better they can perform at school.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the nearest Benefit Brow Bar to shape your arches!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the nearest Benefit Brow Bar! Not only will you get the arch support you need, but you’ll also be helping the Mano Amiga kids get through school.

Of course, I wanted to join in on all the “giving back” fun by doing a little giveaway for you…Jump to the next page to check out the Benefit loot I’m raffling off to one lucky reader!  Continue reading

Here’s What Happened When I Used A Korean Face Mask For 7 Days

If I had to choose between skincare and makeup, I’d definitely choose skincare. But no matter how diligent I was with my cleanse-tone-moisturize routine, it wasn’t enough. After traveling to colder climates over the past few months, my skin finally hit its limit.

Here's what my skin looks like before the challenge. Dry, red in some areas, and tight!

Here’s what my skin looks like before the challenge. Dry, red in some areas, and tight!

When I got back from Japan last March, my skin was at its worst. It was dry, flakey, and rough—and I didn’t know how to deal. No matter how much I moisturized or exfoliated, nothing was working. So when Watsons asked me to do a 7-Day Korean Face Mask Challenge, I was in because I definitely needed to up my hydration game.

Watsons sent over a bunch of masks and I tried the 23 Years Old Cocoon Willow Silky Mask.

Watsons sent over a bunch of masks and I tried the 23 Years Old Cocoon Willow Silky Mask.

Can you see the little gadget beside the mask? That’s the MiLi Pure device. It hooks up to your iPhone via bluetooth and can check your skin’s moisture level. This way, we can check if the mask I’ll be using for 7 days really works. (Yes, I’m really that O.C. when it comes to skincare.)

This is the first time I'm trying a face mask that covers my lips!

This is the first time I’m trying a face mask that covers my lips! Btw, you guys should follow me on IG via @beautyandsparkl for more behind-the-scenes beauty action!

The mask felt weird and it felt a bit uncomfortable since my lips were covered for about 20 minutes, but despite that, it was very high in quality and very refreshing. It was thicker in texture and soaked in moisture-rich serum. I liked that it was especially made for toning dry, dehydrated skin (so it’s exactly what I needed) and that it didn’t make me breakout the entire week (huge win).

Here are the moisture results courtesy of my gadget from MiLi! The left photo is the moisture level of my face on the first day and the right photo is the moisture level of my face on the last day.

Here are the moisture results courtesy of my gadget from MiLi! The left photo is the moisture level of my face without using the mask and the right photo is the moisture level of my face immediately after.

So in case you’re wondering if Korean face masks really work, here’s your evidence! On average, skin’s moisture level would jump by almost 5 to 7% immediately after using the mask. I really enjoyed using a mask every night for a week since it saved me a lot of time and effort (in my head at least). I just had to slap on the mask—no need to tone or put a separate eye cream. I would just wait 20 minutes, massage it into my skin after, and tissue-off any excess serum on my skin. It became a ritual that I really looked forward to!

And here's a photo of what my skin looked like after the 7-Day Watsons Korean Face Mask Challenge. What do you think?

And here’s a photo of what my skin looked like after the 7-Day Watsons Korean Face Mask Challenge. What do you think?

I still need to work on getting the glow back at this point, but I was super happy that my skin was on its way to recovery. The redness isn’t as obvious anymore, it’s feeling a lot smoother, and I can feel the elasticity begin to return. Yay!

But if you truly want to appreciate the before and after shots, take a look at these photos… Continue reading

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